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Now in our eighth calendar year!

PCR #367. (Vol. 8, No. 14) This edition is for the week of April 2--8, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Sad news this week as we lost two film making greats. Shall we begin?

"Grindhouse"  by Mike Smith
The Garden State Film Fest '07  by Paul Guzzo
Passing On....Trivial Notes....Dice-K....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 14: Bill Macy  by Mike Smith
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Very sad to report that director Bob Clark and his 22-year-old son, Ariel, were killed this week when an SUV crossed into their lane of traffic in California and struck their vehicle head on. Bob Clark was 67. Clark, who directed such cult favorites as "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" and "Black Christmas" was probably best known for creating the film "Porkys" as well as its sequel, "Porkys II: The Next Day." But it is 1983's "A Christmas Story" that will prove to be his legacy, gaining a new generation of fans every holiday season. Clark also directed "Tribute," "Turk 182" and a personal secret pleasure of mine, "Rhinestone." The driver of the SUV did not have a license and was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Freddie Francis, Oscar-winning cinematographer and Hammer horror film director, died recently in England at the age of 89. After early success as a director of photography, culminating in winning an Oscar in 1961 for "Sons and Lovers," Francis began directing films in the early 1960s, beginning with an uncredited stint on "The Day of the Triffids." He directed many classic horror films for Hammer studios including "The Evil of Frankenstein," "Hysteria" and "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave." In 1980 he returned to photography, assisting David Lynch on "The Elephant Man. Other films include Lynch's "DUNE" and 1990s "Glory," which earned Francis his second Academy Award.
Darryl Stingley, former receiver for the New England Patriots, died this week from complications caused by his quadriplegia. He was 55. A budding NFL star, Stingley's neck was broken during an exhibition game when Oakland Raider's safety Jack Tatum hit him after a reception. Though Tatum has long been criticized for the hit, no flag was thrown and officials then, and now, reviewed the play and found nothing "dirty" about it.

Well, the 3Ms finished 5th in the Kansas City Pop Culture Trivia Challenge. More on this, and our trip to Texas in search of television fame and fortune, next week.

This afternoon my son, Phillip, and I took part in the mania that has followed baseball player Daisuke Matsuzaka from Japan to America. Today "Dice K" and his Boston Red Sox tackled the Kansas City Royals and beat them 4-1. Phillip and I were determined to get a look at a player deemed so good by those in the know that the Red Sox paid Matsuzaka's old team in Japan over $50 million just to have the right to negotiate with the pitcher. So far, I'd say it was money well spent, Matsuzaka struck out 10 Royals over seven innings, though I didn't see his fabled "gyro ball."



40 years has made Bill Macy one of the most recognizable faces on television. Best remembered as Walter Findlay, the fourth husband of Beatrice Arthur's Maude on the series "MAUDE," Macy began his career as a cab driver in episodes of "The Edge of Night." In 1969, at the age of 45, he starred in the Off Broadway musical "Oh, Calcutta," a show controversial at the time because the entire cast was nude. An appearance with Arthur on the popular "All In the Family" led to the creation of "MAUDE" and a successful six year run on television. When the series ended it's run Macy continued to appear on episodic television and also began showing up on the big screen. Early films include "The Producers," "The Late Show," "The Jerk" and the film featuring my favorite Bill Macy performance, "My Favorite Year." As Sy Benson, head writer for a 1950s television show, Macy almost steals the film from star Peter O'Toole. Later film roles include "Analyze This," "Surviving Christmas" and this past years "The Holiday."

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.